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May 24, 2005

No Retractable Dome On The New Stadium

On cool, damp, rainy days like today - and the ones that are forecasted to happen over the next 5 days or so, I cannot help but get a little ticked over the new Yankee Stadium plans.

Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with the concept of a new Stadium. I'm a big believer that the current Stadium is 30-years-old and not this great old ballpark that some make it out to be, and therefore do not want to lose it. Heck, I actually have baseball gloves that I used in a game that are older than anything in the current Yankee Stadium.

In any event, the thing that ticks me is the Yankees' reported call not to have a retractable dome on the new facility. The logic that I have heard on this decision was (something like): 'The roof would cost about an extra $350 million and since studies showed that not many games are rained out anyway, and the Yankees are paying for just about everything, they decided that the roof wasn't worth it.'

Yeah, they're right. There are not a lot of rainouts. But, there are many, many, games where fans have to sit through constant cold drizzle or steady periods of rain, etc. Think about the Giambi slam in extras to beat the Twins. Think about Clemens 400/3000 game. There are tons more like this. What about those times? Do you not care about the fans?

I have season tickets in the Loge that I would never give up just for the reason of the fact that they offer protection from the elements. And, when you're taking your wife to the game, or your 69-year-old Dad, there's something to be said for not making them sit out there in the cold rain for three-hours to watch a baseball game.

I guess it's important to state that I'm as anti-dome as anyone and would tear down the parks in Minny and Tampa Bay if I had the power. However, if you've seen parks like the one in Seattle and Houston, there is a way to have a retractable dome and not take away from the beauty of the ballpark.

Just throwing this option out there as we probably watch baseball in the rain more often than not over the next few days.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2005 09:27 AM

Comments

It's not only the comfort of the fans to consider but the attendance as well. For games like these against the Tigers they probably get a decent amount of walk-ups. But I doubt you'll get as many in the rain. And even many people with tickets won't show up. Those missing people probably add up to quite a few hot dogs and cracker jacks.

Posted by: Jen at May 24, 2005 11:24 AM

Excellent points - and, they suggest that the $350 mill might pay for itself in some time that way.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2005 12:49 PM

Eh, New Yorkers are tough. We don't need no stinkin' retractable roof...

What makes some of these games special *is* the weather - remember Leyritz in the 95 ALDS? Or how about the snow at the opener in '96?

You want controlled weather? Go to the mall.

Posted by: Pete at May 24, 2005 04:02 PM

Hey, I can tough it out with the best of them - just recently, I was there for the Matsui HR Opener in 2003, where it was so cold that I lost feeling in my feet by the 7th.

But, don't forget the women, children, and elderly - they're at games too. And, esp. the eldery, it's most of our starting staff!

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2005 04:16 PM

You might find the following post at the Sports Economist interesting reading:

http://thesportseconomist.com/archive/2005_05_01__arch_file.htm#111520714014899891

Posted by: anon at May 24, 2005 04:48 PM

you want a retractable roof, YOU pay for it :)

Seriously, I don't see a problem with wanting a "traditional" open air stadium. Whatever keeps costs down; I think we're still paying off the renovation.

The weather to me isn't that big a deal.

Posted by: Raf at May 24, 2005 09:18 PM

Anon - thanks for the link. I wonder if what Jay Weiner said would apply the same in NY as it does in Minny - considering the attendance and revenue differences?

Raf - I'll gladly pay for it. Can I do the one-cent a day plan until it's PIF?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2005 10:46 PM

Can't guess about the effect of a retractable roof in NYC.

What I am irritated about is that "new Yankee" would supposedly seat 7000-8000 fewer heinies that the current stadium.

I stopped attending weekend games after 1998 because it was becoming impossible to buy day-of tix without making a scalper's day. And that was when attendance was still well under < 3M / season.

Posted by: anon at May 25, 2005 02:18 AM

Ah, this is good food for thought on another entry. Thanks!

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 25, 2005 11:10 AM